Monday, 24 April 2017
Goats are my favourite animal (apart from Molly obvs) so before visiting Morocco, there were only really two things that I specifically wanted to see; Jemaa el-Fna and the tree goats. The square was amazing and we got to see it on the day we arrived but the tree goats were supposed to be located outside of Marrakech so I had high hopes for our visit outside of the city at the end of our trip.
We were driving for a couple of hours before low and behold, I finally spotted them! These crazy goats hop up into the tree and balance on a branch. It was totally mad to see, just on the side of the road but I was mesmerized and so excited. Apparently I had been talking about it more than I realised because everyone cheered me off of the bus to take some photos which of course I sent straight to Andrew, my parents and anyone else who would listen.
Argan trees only grow there in Morocco and no one knows why. They have tried to plant them around the world but they just won't grow so that’s why argan oil is so expensive and also highly sought after; not just by us but obviously the goats love the fruit which is why they are up in the trees in the first place. It is rumored that the goats are where the process of creating argan oil begins; although the women at Coopérative Marjana, (the argan oil cooperative that we were off to visit) collect the seed by hand rather than using ones that the goats have passed which results in a much higher quality oil.
At the cooperative, we got to see how the fruit is turned into oil. As we entered the room that they were all working in, the women started to let out some really strange high pitched noises. None of us really knew what was happening but I later found out that this was called barwalá or youyou and it’s just a friendly thing which all added to the atmosphere I guess. We watched as the women all sat together on the floor hammering away at the seeds. The first step was to separate the skin from the nut and then again to crack the seed out of its shell. Behind a glass screen to stop any contamination, the seed was then grinded into a pulp, mixed with a little bit of water and squeezed to extract its oil.
— Georgina Goodman (@GeorginaDoes) March 25, 2017
And so another life goal was ticked off my list!
*Huge thanks to Visit Morocco inviting me along on this trip